If you’re visiting Niagara, you no longer need to leave your hotel to experience the zany kind of amusement Clifton Hill has to offer if you stay at the Four Points by Sheraton. The recently opened Niagara Falls Fun Zone has a taste of all the camp and flashing lights under one newly constructed roof. It doesn’t hurt that there’s an East Side Mario’s and CC Swirls right next door. We lost an entire afternoon to the thrills and delights of Fun Zone, and the kids would have stayed on if we hadn’t cut off their arcade token supply. Here’s the shake down of our family visit to Niagara Falls Fun Zone.
Fun Zone is an entertainment complex on two floors of brand new construction attached to the Four Points by Sheraton hotel and directly across from the Fallsview Casino. The Zone houses the following attractions:
Two floors of arcade games
The Haunted Hallway
The Mystic Maze of Mirrors
Glow-in-the-Dark Shipwreck Mini Putt Adventure
Galaxy Quest Lazer Tag
A Machine Gun Range
The Bodies Revealed Exhibit (temporary) – we reviewed this a few months ago and you can find that here.
We stayed away from the machine gun range – lazer tag is as crazy as I’m willing to get in the realm of kids and guns. Our plan was to try the mirror maze, the lazer tag, the mini putt and the haunted hallway and then let the kids use up about 50 tokens in the arcade. I should mention that the kids in our posse are girls 8 and 10 years old, our male cousin visiting from England who is 11 and our male toddler who is not quite 2. Baby was knocked out cold for his afternoon nap when we arrived, so I stayed with him for the first half of our adventure. All attraction reporting comes directly from the kids.
The kids loved the mirror maze, and felt quite pleased with themselves when they navigated it rather quickly. I’m pretty sure it helps to work as a team. I loved the plastic gloves they gave out to avoid getting prints all over the mirrors. I just about asked to take some home.
The lazer tag was a fun way to burn off steam, and because non of the adults who had tickets really wanted to go in (the baby was still asleep at this point), the friendly operator added a few extra minutes to the clock. Our 8-year-old got pretty frustrated by the advanced skills of the older kids, so it might be good to set some ground rules for fair play, and stress the fun of playing rather than winning before you let them loose on each other. All three kids were sweaty messes afterward.
The mini golf was a bit on the simpler side, which was great for all three of our novice players. the kids felt really good about the skill level required, and they had a blast. The artwork at this glow-in-the-dark mini putt was the best I’ve seen so far. The walls were covered in beautiful, life-like paintings. Our little guy had woken up and was so delighted to be carried sleepily through the underwater and jungle scenes oohing and ahhing at the animals and sea creatures. The attendant on staff even gave him his own ball to carry, which of course he wanted to take home.
Nobody was traumatized by the Haunted Hallway and all three of the bigger kids went in. You obviously have to gauge this based on your child’s level of sensitivity, but even the one kid who was reluctant to go in (we even had to back out at the start of the experience) said it wasn’t too bad after they had made it through the whole thing. From what the kids reported, there was some violence and a bit of gore, but nothing too over-the-top, and nobody touches you, which I frankly appreciate. I’ve always avoided haunted houses for fear that I’d end up punching someone.
The arcade games were brand spanking new. This means they all work, and they’ve got some great offerings. I know absolutely nothing about video games, but the kids were all happy to play what was on offer, they had skee ball (my go-to as a mom with a toddler in tow) and everyone complained and begged for more when the tokens ran out. MAJOR BROWNIE POINTS FOR HAVING AT LEAST TWO RIDES FOR OUR TODDLER TO ENJOY. I haven’t seen this at any of the other arcades (sorry if I’ve missed something, do let us know!) and I sincerely appreciated this detail. So did little Noah.
The family washroom was awesome. I know this is an odd point to highlight, but believe me, when you’re potty training (sometimes really unsuccessfully) you are glad for the cleanliness, the space, and the privacy of a large family washroom. Someone who designed Fun Zone obviously has kids.
The ticket cashier was generous. When we go to the arcade, everyone pools their tickets at the end and the kids split them evenly. The cashier at Fun Zone was gracious enough to round up if the kids were just shy of the prize they wanted. I thought that was really sweet, since these prizes basically cost peanuts for these places. I’m pretty sure the baby was trying to charm her into letting him take home a giant stuffed horse. She resisted, because I’m sure she likes her job.
I approached Fun Zone fully aware that it’s a brand new venue, and I have to say, there wasn’t much to complain about. Any issues were graciously handled by the staff.
Early on we realized the elevator was out-of-order, but a kindly employee named Brandon offered to help me carry the stroller with the sleeping baby down the massive flight of stairs to the second floor. What a sweet heart. I only went to the trouble because the baby desperately needed the nap, otherwise I would have asked to park the stroller at the box office. On the way back up, another staff member named Matt sent us down a secret hall to the hotel elevator, then came to rescue us when he realized he’d sent us to the wrong lobby! Talk about service – Matt even offered to try to score a bottle of water for us because the kids were parched after lazer tag.
No vending machines means cranky kids. I totally appreciate wanting to keep brand new carpeting clean as long as possible, but if the Fun Zone at least installs a water vending machine, they will make money. I would have spent $5 to get the kids to stop moaning. Instead, we had to truck it out of the building where the staff at the restaurant next door took pity on us. Bring some water bottles from home, and don’t forget them in the car like I did.
Hire the mini putt painter to add a bit of oomph to the arcade. There was part of me who was relieved to be spared the gaudy assault of lights and colour that you usually find in arcades. The stark white walls were almost too civilized though. I’d commission the mini putt artist to add a bit more interest in certain parts of the arcade to give the place a slightly more playful feel. I’m sure this must be in the works, because the Fun Zone people seemed to have thought of everything else.
Groupon has some great attractions packages for Fun Zone available right now. You can check those out here, but they are only available for a limited time.
Get some fantastic Fun Zone arcade token discounts at Travel Zoo. Find those deals here.
Niagara Falls Fun Zone is located at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, directly across from the Fallsview Casino.
They are open from 10am – 2am so even big kids can come out and play.
6455 Fallsview Blvd
Niagara Falls, ON Canada
Website: http://www.niagarafallsfunzone.com/ – at the moment, the website contains the basics while the final website is being completed.
*Family package includes 4 attractions for 2 adults and 2 children under 12 for $100. See website for details and conditions